Let’s face it; we live in times when things are expensive. Whether we’re talking about groceries, bills, or things we don’t pay for daily, we’re constantly looking for ways to pay less. The same thing goes for our cars and the maintenance.
I often talk about tires as being a common consumable that people neglect. They’re responsible for your safety, so you shouldn’t ignore them when the time comes to get a new set.
Looking for a discount in these situations is a good way to save a few dollars. Another option is user tires, which I’m against in most cases. So, what other options are available to you? There is a little thing called demo tires, which few people seem to know about, and I’m here to change that.
In this guide, I’ll talk about what demo tires are, where to find them, and if you should consider getting a set.
What are Demo Tires?
First, let’s talk about what a demo tire is. Even though there are multiple ways in which a tire can be defined as a demo one, the simplest explanation is that it’s a showcase tire. This comes from two sides: car and tire manufacturers.
Demo tires from the car side of things are pretty simple. Whenever a car manufacturer showcases a new model, it fits it with a set of tires so that the representatives can move the car around. With some models, potential customers may get a chance to take the car for a quick spin. In both cases, the tires remain relatively new and may end up on sale as demo tires.
Another option here comes from tire manufacturers. Whenever a new model hits the market, representatives from the tire manufacturer may have it showcased with some retailers. Like car testing, people may get a chance to do some tire testing to see if they like the tire. They are potential buyers, so they’ll probably get a chance to test it.
Regardless of which one we’re talking about, there is a chance that there will be tires that may end up as demo tires that people can buy them.
Finally, there are demo tires that come from dealers. Sometimes, a dealer may get a vehicle with summer or all-season tires, which is fine for most situations. With that said, some vehicles are sold in areas with very harsh winters, something that neither of those two types are good at. In these cases, the dealer will replace the existing tires with winter ones, and the ones that come from the tire may be sold as demo tires.
What’s the difference between Demo and New Tires?
As far as the differences between a demo and a new one are concerned, there is only one. If you’ve ever spent a few minutes in a tire shop, you may have noticed tires with colored stripes and a sticker on the tread. If you’ve gotten close, you may have noticed the small rubber hairs or color markings on the sidewall. These are new tires, and they haven’t seen any road time.
On the other hand, demo tires are a bit different. In essence, a demo tire is a used tire, but not all of them have been used in the same manner. For example, a demo tire can come off a show car, meaning it has seen some road time. It may be less than a mile around the showroom floor, or it may have been driven on the road or on a track. There is some mileage on it, depending on where it came from.
Another type is those that tire manufacturers showcase at events. You may find these at a stand or on a test car, which you may get a chance to drive. Similar to before, in most cases, these demo tires will see a few miles, meaning that even these are technically used tires.
In the rarest cases, you will see demo tires with 0 miles on them. These are as rare as unicorns, and the ones that tire manufacturers put on display for potential customers. These tires often have some fancy sidewall design, a common theme we see in modern tires, especially from premium manufacturers.
What’s the difference between Demo and Used Tires?
I mentioned that a demo tire is technically a used one, but are we talking about the same thing? No, a demo tire differs from a used tire, and let me explain why.
When looking at a used tire, you’re looking at a tire that’s been used a lot more than a demo one, in most cases. The person selling it may have driven the set for a few years before deciding to sell it. It means that from the start, you’re looking at tires that are “older,” and in addition to that, the treat depth is probably not close to being new. There are exceptions to this, but that’s not a common sight.
With demo tires, you’re looking at a relatively new tire. Regardless of whether we’re talking about a tire from a car showcase or the tire manufacturer, it probably hasn’t been driven or displayed for a few years. Even if the tire has been driven, it hasn’t seen thousands of miles, so you may even find them with the colored strips still visible. There are exceptions, but in most cases, the demo tires are relatively new-ish.
Should you buy Demo Tires?
Considering that I’m not a massive fan of getting used tires, I’ll risk sounding like a hypocrite, but I’ll say that getting demo tires isn’t the worst thing in the world. I have a good enough reason for this, so hear me out.
Demo tires are used, but before they end up for sale, representatives and tire technicians check them to ensure they are in good enough shape for sale. When I say good enough shape, I mean lack of damage, premature or uneven wear. Unlike the tires you’ll find on your local marketplace website, these won’t have the cords showing, so it’s less of a risk to buy them.
Overall, if you manage to get your hands on a set of demo tires, I’d say it’s at least a good idea to consider them. Relatively new tires at a low price are things that none of us car owners would want to pass on.
Things to consider when getting Demo Tires?
So far, I’ve talked about demo tires as a good option if you want to get them at a lower price. As good as it sounds, you should consider a few things. All of them are intertwined, so you should view all of them.
The first thing to consider is the price, and it’s up to you. Demo tires are cheaper than regular ones, but the amount of discount you’ll get can vary. There isn’t a rule for this, so it depends on the retailer. Check the price and decide if you feel like it’s worth it for you.
Next up, we have the usage. Demo tires don’t get driven too much, but some of them see some road time. Depending on how many miles they’ve been driven, you may not get them with the full tread depth. There is a range here, and you may find demo tires that haven’t even seen the road or may have been driven for a while.
Another thing to consider is the age. In most cases, this isn’t a massive problem, but it’s still something to keep in mind. Regardless if we’re talking about tires from a car or a tire manufacturer, they will probably have a new-ish production date. Still, tire age is often overlooked, so it’s a good idea to check at least when the tires were produced before deciding if you want to get them.
Finally, we have the tire size and model. Demo tires don’t come in all possible sizes, so you’ll also need to check the size. There’s no point in getting demo tires with the wrong size.
Where to get Demo Tires?
Unlike a regular set of new tires you can get from your favorite retailer, demo tires aren’t as common. You can’t just go to a store or visit a website and choose the model and size you need.
You can find demo tires at shows or expos, meaning that you’ll probably need to be there and see if something comes on offer. That said, some retailers occasionally offer them on their websites, so you may want to keep an eye.
At the end of the day, demo tires aren’t something you’ll get when you need to replace your current tires. Often, you may come across a good deal and get them a bit beforehand. Just make sure not to get them too early.
Getting a chance to get a new set of tires at a more affordable price is a dream come true for us car owners. Going for discounts is one way, but there is another that not many people know of.
That other thing is going for demo tires. They are slightly used tires and, in my opinion, are a safer option when compared with used tires. Despite that, you should still keep a few things in mind to ensure that you get good tires, at least ones that suit you in terms of price, age, and tread depth.
Overall, demo tires are a good option for getting a set of almost new tires without paying the “new price.” This means that if you find a set that works for you, it’s not a deal you should ignore.